The UK has frozen a total of £18.4 billion ($20.9 billion) in Russian assets since severe sanctions were imposed on the country after it invaded Ukraine, APA reports citing Bloomberg.
The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation said Thursday that represents about £6 billion more than held against all other sanctioned regimes. In conjunction with its allies, the UK has penalized over 1,200 people and 120 businesses, it said in its annual review.
Since the invasion, the Treasury unit has received 236 sanctions breach reports. Russian billionaire Petr Aven is challenging allegations that he evaded sanctions against him in a London court. He is suspected of using bank accounts held by his wife and estate management firms to fund his lifestyle.
“We have imposed the most severe sanctions ever on Russia and it is crippling their war machine,” Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the Treasury, said. “To make sure we are doing all we can to keep the pressure on Putin’s corrupt cronies we are more than doubling OFSI’s headcount.”